miR-25 promotes glioblastoma cell proliferation and invasion by directly targeting NEFL

Mol Cell Biochem. 2015 Nov;409(1-2):103-11. doi: 10.1007/s11010-015-2516-x. Epub 2015 Jul 26.


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant and common brain tumor; it is aggressive growth pattern means that GBM patients face a poor prognosis even when receiving the best available treatment modalities. In recent years, an increasing number of reports suggest that the discovery of microRNAs (miRNAs) might provide a novel therapeutic target for human cancers, including GBM. One miRNA in particular, microRNA-25 (miR-25), is overexpressed in several cancers, wherein accumulating evidence indicates that it functions as an oncogene. However, the function of miR-25 in GBM has not been totally elucidated. In this study, we demonstrated that miR-25 was significantly up-regulated in astrocytoma tissues and glioblastoma cell lines. In vitro studies further demonstrated that overexpressed miR-25 was able to promote, while its antisense oligos inhibited cell proliferation and invasion in U251 cells. Moreover, we identified neurofilament light polypeptide (NEFL) as a novel target molecule of miR-25. Also of note was the fact that NEFL was down-regulated with increased levels of miR-25 expression in human astrocytoma clinical specimens. In addition, via the mTOR signaling pathway, NEFL-siRNA could significantly attenuate the inhibitory effects of knockdown miR-25 on the proliferation and invasion of U251 cells. Overall, our results showed an important role for miR-25 in regulating NEFL expression in GBM, and suggest that miR-25 could be a potential target for GBM treatment.

Keywords: Cell proliferation and invasion; Glioblastoma; NEFL; miR-25.

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Glioblastoma / genetics*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • MicroRNAs / biosynthesis
  • MicroRNAs / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / genetics
  • Neurofilament Proteins / genetics
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • MIRN25 microRNA, human
  • MicroRNAs
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • neurofilament protein L
  • MTOR protein, human
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases